Anti-paganism policy of Constantius II  

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The anti-paganism policy of Constantius II lasted from 337 till 361. It was marked by laws and edicts that punished pagan practices. Laws dating from the 350s prescribed the death penalty for those who performed or attended pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols; temples were shut down, and the Altar of Victory was removed from the Senate meeting house. There were also frequent episodes of ordinary Christians destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalizing many of the ancient pagan temples, tombs and monuments.

Paganism was still popular among the population at the time. The emperor's policies were passively resisted of many governors and magistrates. Herbermann contends that the anti-paganism legislation had an unfavourable influence on the Middle Ages and become the basis of the Inquisition.

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